Architecture People & Places


2012 RIBA Awards - London

The Hepworth Wakefield art gallery in Hepworth, England was designed by David Chipperfield, the 2010 recipient of the Royal Gold Medal and 2007 recipient of the Stirling Prize. Photo: © Iwan Baan
On Thursday 21 June 2012, The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the winners of the 2012 RIBA Awards. The U.K. awards will be presented to 50 buildings, and 9 other E.U. buildings, located outside of the U.K., were also recognized.

The shortlist for the 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize for the building of the year will be drawn from among these 59 winners.

This year's winners range from a house in the shape of a sand dune to the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, from a demountable opera pavilion to the radical transformation of a Spanish bull-fighting arena. The dominant theme amongst this year's winners are major public arts buildings – ten of which have made the grade; many are the result of pre-recession arts lottery funding which has a typically long gestation period. The beautifully finished projects include Bath's Holburne Museum, designed by Eric Parry Architects and the Hepworth Wakefield, designed by David Chipperfield Architects.

Populous designed the 2012 Olympic Stadium,  in London, England. Photo: Courtesy City of London.

Refreshingly, the vast majority of the 2012 RIBA Awards winners are in regional towns, with awards across all genre types. Two of the UK's best-loved seaside towns have received surprising new additions to their coastline and, in the case of the Turner Contemporary at Margate, been hailed as a boost to the town's economy.

This year's winners reveal a trend which could be termed 'austerity chic', with a strong presence of crafted and considered buildings, using carefully selected materials which emphasize texture, authenticity and environmental efficiency. The Brockholes Nature Reserve Visitor Centre in Lancashire is the perfect example of this – a wooden "floating village" designed to enhance our enjoyment of nature and with an enviable energy rating.

Thoughtful stitching-together of the existing urban fabric is another theme - with the clever reuse and reinvention of existing spaces. Impressive examples of this include London's new Exhibition Road streetscape and Central St. Martin's Campus, while impressive urban projects such as Kevin McCloud's housing project, The Triangle in Swindon and the new Lyric Theatre in Belfast demonstrate how to make the best use of confined urban spaces.

Well-known architects and smaller architecture practices will be battling it out to make it onto this year's RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist alongside television presenter Kevin McCloud and philosopher Alain de Botton who have nailed their colors to the mast and commissioned two of this year's award-winning buildings. The RIBA Stirling Prize is awarded to the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.  The prize will be presented on Saturday 13 October.

The 50 UK buildings that have won an RIBA Award are:

  • National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, by Gareth Hoskins Architects
  • Bogbain Mill, Maryburgh, by Rural Design
  • Dundee Council Civic Office, Dundee, by Reiach and Hall Architects
  • Maggie's Gartnavel, Glasgow, by OMA
  • Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, by Page/Park Architects
  • Glenariffe House, Glens of Antrim, by McGarry-Moon Architects
  • Lyric Theatre, Belfast, by O'Donnell + Tuomey
  • Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast, by Todd Architects
  • Rear Extension to 109 Osborne Park, Belfast, by ard (ciaran mackel) Architects
  • Roseberry Park, Middlesbrough, by Medical Architecture
  • Toffee Factory, by Newcastle upon Tyne, by xsite architecture
  • Brockholes Visitor Centre, Lancashire, by Adam Khan Architects
  • Festival House, Blackpool, by dRMM Architects
  • North House, Bowden, by Roger Stephenson Architects
  • Kirk Balk Community College, Barnsley, by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • Saxton, Leeds, by Union North
  • The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, by David Chipperfield Architects
The 4,400-square-meter (47,000-square-foot) Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, in Cardiff, Wales was designed by London-based architecture practice BFLS.
  • Maggie's South West Wales, Swansea, by Kisho Kurokawa Architect & Associates with Garber & James
  • Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff, by BFLS
  • BFI Master Film Store, Warwickshire, by Edward Cullinan Architects
  • Caistor Arts & Heritage, Lincolnshire, by Jonathan Hendry Architects
  • Centre
  • Easton Neston Estate, Northamptonshire, by Ptolemy Dean Architects
  • Loughborough Design School, Loughborough, by Burwell Deakins Architects
  • Brentwood School Sixth Form Centre & Assembly Hall, Essex, Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture
  • Royal Veterinary College Student Village, Hatfield, by Hawkins\Brown
  • The Dune House, Suffolk, Jarmund Vigsnaes Architects & Mole Architects
  • University of Cambridge Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge, by Stanton Williams
  • Private House, Gloucestershire, by Found Associates
  • The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care, Bath, by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
  • The Holburne Museum, Bath, by Eric Parry Architects
  • The Triangle, Swindon, by Glenn Howells Architects
  • Garsington Opera Pavilion, High Wycombe, by Snell Associates
  • The Shulman Auditorium, Oxford, by Berman Guedes Stretton
  • Somerville College Student Accommodation, Oxford, by Niall McLaughlin Architects
  • McLaren Production Centre, Surrey, Foster + Partners
  • Turner Contemporary, Kent, by David Chipperfield Architects
  • 14 St George Street and, London W1S, by Eric Parry Architects
  • 50 New Bond Street
  • Exhibition Road, London SW7, by Dixon Jones
  • Dalling Road, London, Hayhurst and Co. in collaboration with Lucy Carmichael
  • Peabody Avenue, Pimlico, London SW1V, by Haworth Tompkins
  • The St. Paul's Centre at St. Paul's Church Hammersmith, London W6, by Richard Griffiths Architects
  • The Hurlingham Club Outdoor Pool, London SW6, by David Morley Architects
  • Kings Grove, London SE15, by Duggan Morris Architects
  • White Cube, Bermondsey, London SE1, by Casper Mueller Kneer Architects
  • Hackney Marshes Centre, London E9, by Stanton Williams
  • London Olympic Stadium, London E20, by POPULOUS
  • New Court, London EC4N, by OMA with Allies and Morrison
  • St. Pancras Chambers, London NW1, by RHWL Architects with Richard Griffiths Architects
  • Henrietta Barnett School, London NW11, by Hopkins Architects
  • University of the Arts London Campus Central Saint Martins at King's Cross. Phase 1: Granary Complex, London N1C, by Stanton Williams
The 9 RIBA Award buildings in the European Union are:

Shigeru Ban and Jean Gastine Architectes designed the Centre Pompidou Metz in Metz, France. Photo: Didier Boy de la Tour
  • PJ Carroll's Factory, Dundalk, Ireland, by scott tallon walker architects
  • Wexford County Council Headquarters, Wexford, Ireland, by Robin Lee Architecture
  • Solid 11, Amsterdam, Netherlands, by Tony Fretton Architects
  • Las Arenas, Barcelona, Spain, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
  • Bilbao Arena, Bilbao, Spain, by Idom UK
  • H27D, Constance, Germany, by Kraus Schoenberg Architects
  • maison L, Yvelines, France, by architecturespossibles
  • Centre Pompidou – Metz, Metz, France, by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastine Architectes with Gumuchdjian Architects
  • FCN 2009, Portelle, Italy, by M Guiseppina Grasso Cannizzo 

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